Third Annual Fringe Festival
In 1947, a small group of uninvited, independent theatre-makers took it upon themselves to perform small shows around the Edinburgh Arts Festival in Scotland. Their work inspired a global movement of “fringe festivals” that celebrate and utilize innovative and unusual theatrical techniques.
This year, the Department of Theatre is producing its third Fringe Festival, which will include three original performances directed, written and acted by Denison students. The shows were selected by a faculty jury.
The shows span from May 2 to 9 and are open to Denison students, faculty and staff in Hylbert Family Studio. Masks and social distancing guidelines will be in place, and tickets must be reserved online.
“The Compassion of Mundanity,” a show by Echo Cain ‘21, will be performed May 2 and 9 at 8:00 pm. It is a mysterious performance “with a radical message.” An old evil stirs that subconsciously affects all those around it.
“Sucker for Romance,” a show by Genevieve Pfister ‘24, will be performed May 4 and 6 at 8:00 pm. It tells the story of Rachel, a lover of classic romance stories, who searches for true love in a bookstore.
“Angel Face,” a show by Adam Frost-Venrick ‘21, will be performed May 7 and 7 at 8:00 pm. This performance features an office temp who is elevated to “new heights” when he discovers he is the reincarnation of a 90’s UFO-cult leader.
“Variety and freedom of expression have always been the hallmarks of fringe festivals, and that is the key for us as well. There is no “correct” model of theatre for a fringe production, and our three plays demonstrate that nicely: one unusual, almost dance-like meditation on modernity, one traditional rom-com that makes you smile while tugging at your heartstrings, and one solo piece that attempts to go where no one-man show has gone before,” Associate Professor of Theatre Peter Pauze said.
Pauze noted that COVID protocols will have the performers and audience members maintaining social distancing and mask-wearing CDC guidelines.
“[Actors] embraced these limits just as fringe festival creators have always embraced limits, finding creative ways to use these limits to their advantage. After all, theatre has a millennia-long tradition of purposefully and creatively using both masks and abstract movement to tell moving and engaging stories. So they were in good company!” Pauze said.
Senior Adam Venrick is no stranger to the theatre department, but said he has learned new techniques as an actor during this avante-garde process.
“For Angel Face, I can tell you that it’s been a fun challenge, because I’ve had to memorize a seventy-minute one-man show, and it’s been challenging, but a worthwhile exercise as an actor,” he said.